- Superstars LeBron James, Returning Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony in Action
- Team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson & Doris Burke to Call Multiple Games
- NBA Countdown with New Trio of Sage Steele, Jalen Rose & Doug Collins Debuts
- ESPN to Debut New Broadcast Open Featuring Recording Artist Lenny Kravitz
- Interscope Recording Artist Aloe Blacc to Perform on Countdown Wednesday
The NBA on ESPN will return for its season-opening week of coverage, highlighted by several of the league’s top superstars in action, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony. ESPN will televise the first of its two doubleheaders tonight – Wednesday, Oct. 29 – starting with the Chicago Bulls and a returning Derrick Rose visiting the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony at 8 p.m. ET. Mike Breen, analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson and reporter Doris Burke will provide commentary. In the nightcap, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook will visit the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard at 10:30 p.m. Mike Tirico and analyst Hubie Brown will call the action with reporter Heather Cox.
On Friday, Oct. 31, ESPN will televise the highly-anticipated first matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers – led by LeBron James – and the Chicago Bulls, led by Derrick Rose, at 8 p.m. The quartet of Breen, Van Gundy, Jackson and Burke will once again provide commentary. At 10:30 p.m., the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant will host the rival Los Angeles Clippers and Chris Paul in another edition of the Battle for LA. Ryan Ruocco, analyst Jon Barry and reporter J.A. Adande will describe the action. Veteran NBA referee and officiating analyst Steve Javie will join both telecasts with insights from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. studios.
All games will be available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via WatchESPN. The 8 p.m. games on both Wednesday and Friday will also stream on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square.
Kia NBA Countdown returns with new set, Aloe Blacc performance
Kia NBA Countdown – ESPN’s NBA pregame show – will make its regular-season return with host Sage Steele and analysts Jalen Rose and Doug Collins for hour-long pregame shows tonight and Friday at 7 p.m. leading into ESPN’s NBA doubleheaders. Interscope recording artist Aloe Blacc will perform his hit singles “Can You Do This,” “Wake Me Up” and “The Man” outside of ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center, home of NBA Countdown, during tonight’s telecast.
Lenny Kravitz stars in ESPN NBA broadcast open
ESPN will debut its new NBA broadcast open tonight, tipping off the first night of regular-season NBA coverage. Recording artist Lenny Kravitz stars in the new spot, which features his new hit song, “I’m A Believer.”
On Thursday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. SportsCenter anchors Chris McKendry and Jay Crawford and the 6 p.m. show’s Lindsay Czarniak and John Anderson will host their respective show from 4th Street in Cleveland prior to LeBron James’ return in the Cleveland Cavaliers home opener against the New York Knicks. Reporters Dave McMenamin, Brian Windhorst, Darren Rovell, Marc Stein and Mark Schwarz will report on site with analyst Tim Legler. Czarniak will host Friday’s 6 p.m. SportsCenter from Chicago’s United Center where James and the Cavaliers visit their Eastern Conference rival Chicago Bulls that night. Reporters Nick Friedell and Mark Schwarz will be on-site with analyst P.J. Carlesimo. Additionally, Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon will be on site both days.
NBA Tonight, NBA Coast to Coast Return to ESPN2
NBA Coast to Coast returns tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 with whip-around coverage from games across the league. Cassidy Hubbarth will host the telecast with analysts Avery Johnson, Antonio Davis and P.J. Carlesimo and ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard. Hubbarth will also host NBA Tonight – ESPN2’s nightly NBA news and highlights show – on Friday, Oct. 31, at 1 a.m. with analyst Antonio Davis.
ESPN Audio Begins 20th Consecutive Season of NBA Coverage
ESPN Audio’s 20th consecutive year of broadcasting the NBA continues Thursday, Oct. 30, at 8 p.m. when Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks visit LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Calabro returns as ESPN Audio’s lead play-by-play voice, alongside analyst Jon Barry, with reporter Marc Stein. The NBA on ESPN Audio will be available on terrestrial ESPN Radio stations and via ESPNRadio.com.
New NBA on ESPN Brand Campaign Debuts
With the start of the 2014-15 NBA season, ESPN debuted a new brand campaign for NBA on ESPN, featuring the tagline “This is Your Game.” The integrated campaign features an urban street art-inspired look, showcasing basketball culture through illustrations created by hand, and a larger focus on music – utilizing and mixing popular tracks that are reflective of storylines as the season progresses. The first commercial was created in collaboration with Wieden + Kennedy New York, while the remainder of the campaign and its illustrations will be developed by ESPN’s in-house marketing team.
ESPN.com will provide extensive season-opening coverage including feature stories, previews, predictions and breaking news from ESPN NBA Insiders Marc Stein, Brian Windhorst, Michael Wallace, Chris Broussard, Henry Abbott, David Thorpe, Amin Elhassan, Kevin Pelton and Tom Haberstroh. ESPN.com highlights include:
- A 140-second, animated, offseason recap video voiced by analyst Jalen Rose;
- A four-minute review of LeBron James’ career from his days in high school to his return to Cleveland;
- An animated ranking of the Top 10 NBA players heading into the 2014-15 season, as voted ESPN’s Forecast panel;
- Marc Stein’s weekly Power Rankings return with the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs ranked first overall;
- Insights from ESPN’s #NBAFrontOffice panel including analysts Tom Penn, George Karl and Insiders Amin Elhassan, Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton;
- Insiders Brian Windhorst on LeBron’s legacy in Northeast Ohio and Dave McMenamin on what fans can expect to see from the Cavaliers on the court;
- Debut of NBA Now, a real-time NBA social experience every game night;
- The Ten, a comprehensive wrap-up of all things NBA from each day’s games.